A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jhinu Danda Hot Springs

We met Yoav and Michal, a father and daughter duo from Yokne'am, Israel that we had seen on the trails a few times and had stopped for the night at the same guesthouse. We had one of those instantaneous connections, and enjoyed dinner together several times.

Yoav told us a story about his sister inviting him over for dinner and then confessing that she had cooked their fish in the dishwasher. Not only were the dishes clean but the fish came out perfectly steamed. This was funny in itself, but then I thought that we should rename dishwasher to “fishwasher” and we all laughed until we nearly cried.

As positively crazy as it sounds, steaming a fish in the dishwasher is a legitimate way to poach salmon. Try this recipe for some shock and awe and your next dinner party.

We had an equally you-had-to-have-been-there-moment when we misheard another porter saying the springs were so hot you could boil a chicken egg. We just heard “you could boil a chicken” and we imagined being in the springs with a flock of chickens, basically cooking up our dinner while we bathed. We could call the dish “hot spring chicken”. Since they drain and clean the tubs every night we laughed about how they would have to clean out the feathers lest they clog the drain. Later, when Krishna caught a chicken, we busted up again, like it wasn’t far fetched at all.

We heard the hot springs were “just down the hill” so we asked if we could wear our flip flops. Luckily, we ignored this advice and wore our hiking boots because it was a good thirty minutes down a wooded trail.

When we got to the bottom and turned the corner, who was in the hot spring? Ok, you know by now. I thought we shook them at the last guesthouse but there they were in all their glory, and in bathing suits. There were only three tubs carved out of rock, one was full, and one was occupied by a pudgy wrinkly naked guy who went pee in front of us before jumping in. We would have to swim with the enemy.

The tubs overlooked the aquamarine Modi Khola river, rushing madly and enticing you for a whitewater rafting trip (another popular adventure in Nepal). The water felt fantastic! It wasn’t especially hot but it eased our sore muscles. We soaked until our fingers and toes were prunes.

Later I was bored, having finished my book on Annapurna and was extorted by the teahouse owner into paying over four dollars for a cover-less and yellowing copy of Christine. I was that desperate, but as always entertained by Stephen King.

Also immeasurably entertaining, the owners son, Susan, was quite a little ham and requested prompt payment for his pranks in Pringles. The tennis-ball can was made a perfect size to hide his little arm straining for more chips. Unlike our adult sized limbs that don’t seem to fit anymore as we invariably find ourselves tipping the can upside down. We coaxed Susan into filtering a liter of water for us in return for a Snickers, and he shot off like a lightning bolt to devour it and came back smiling with telltale chocolate on his cheek. When you're a kid your life literally revolves around Pringles and Snickers, not so unlike two exhausted trekkers I know.


corina January 12, 2010 at 2:40 AM  

so what i want to know is...did you talk to the noisy girls or just ignore them and sit in your corner of the tub like i woulda done.

Alison January 14, 2010 at 5:26 AM  

yes, we not only swam with the enemy, we actually sort of made chit chat. we were not BFF by any means but we begrudgingly released our grudge against them. it was quite the what-would-jesus-do moment.

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